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April 6, 2003
 
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British General Says 'Chemical Ali' Probably Dead

Reuters


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April 6

AS SAYLIYA CAMP, Qatar (Reuters) - A senior British general in the Gulf said on Monday that "Chemical Ali," Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's cousin and commander of the southern region, was probably killed when U.S. planes bombed his house.

"We suspect he (Ali Hassan al-Majid) probably was killed in that strike," Major General Peter Wall, chief-of-staff for British forces in Iraq, told Reuters at headquarters in Qatar.

"A large part of his entourage, including bodyguards, have been reported killed."

The U.S. military has said the body of Majid's bodyguard was found after the bombing in Basra on Saturday but was unsure if Majid himself was dead -- U.S. officials believed he had entered the building at the time the air strike was ordered.

Iraq's information minister denied the bombs killed Majid, who gained his nickname after Saddam's forces used poison gas on Kurdish villages in rebellious northern areas in 1988.

U.S.-led forces have been hunting Majid across southern Iraq, where troops have limited Iraqis' freedom of movement.

Last Monday, U.S. Marines launched a dawn raid on the town of Shatra after receiving intelligence he was there. U.S. troops also had information he was working out of a hospital in the city of Nassiriya, where a week ago special forces rescued prisoner-of-war Private First Class Jessica Lynch.

Copyright 2003 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
 
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